Raichur, Karnataka, Apr 7 UNI | 4 months ago

AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi today said BJP cannot match the Congress' feat of uplifting 15 crore people from Below Poverty Line (BPL) families and enabling them to lead a decent life during UPA's decade-long rule at the Centre.

Speaking at a election meeting here, coming under the backward Hyderabad-Karnataka region, after storming Sirsi in the coastal Uttara Kannada district earlier in the day, he said the Congress had provided the poor with food security and tried to eradicate hunger from the country. It provided free education in all schools, including top private institutions, for the poor students as well as provided free food.

'What can the BJP claim?. Can it match the food security initiatives of the Congress-led UPA government that has not only provided food but also ensured substantial number of jobs?" he asked.

He said Congress championed providing special status to backward HK region. 'The new law under 371-J that will benefit the people of the region was Congress' commitment and it now stands fulfilled. What sort of credit can BJP take from this,' he asked.

Mr Gandhi said Congress stood for the poor men and the poor women and worked hard to safeguard their interests. 'I am very happy that Congress government in Karnataka is offering Re one per kg rice to all poor families in the state

every month under 'Anna Bhagya' scheme. It has also waived off farm loans to help one million poor farmers. To top it all we have in this state the school children getting floured milk along with lunch in all government and other aided schools,' he said.

Mr Gandhi said the next focus of the Congress will be to further improve the lives of new middle class, who hitherto belonged to BPL. 'We will ensure even better quality of life for these people if elected to power next,' he said.

The Congress leader said Karnataka, under the party's one-year rule was now in second position in the country in development, while Gujarat was at fourth position. 'Now you can see which party is developing the states better,' Mr Gandhi added.

(Posted on 07-04-2014)